Friday, 22 April 2016

Heather: Patti floral dress

Back in October 2015 I picked up a copy of the Burda Style Special magazine. (For those of you who have never heard of it, it's a sewing magazine containing 64 free 'trace-it-yourself' patterns each month.) The October special had a 60s theme and was where I first spied the gorgeous Patti empire line dress.

Patti Dress from

With a contrast collar and cuffs this dress is a vintage-lover's dream, and since then I've made it in several colours and styles. (Sorry about the picture quality!)

Navy polyester with contrast in lighter blue viscose.

Stripe knitted fabric with collar and cuffs made from leftover pieces of jumper!
I even made a version for my Mum from this orange floral cotton mix fabric with corduroy collars and cuffs.

But by far the pièce de résistance is this version in black floral, 100% viscose from Fabric Corner. As soon as I saw the fabric I knew it would make a perfect 'Patti'. I decided against contrast collars and cuffs on this one. Despite finding a great spot-contrast in my stash I decided the matching collar was more suitable for this one. (Do you think I made the right decision?)

Instead the spot contrast is on the inside, for a fun detail. I added some vintage style buttons, picked up at a sewing show in Harrogate last year, for a true vintage feel.

I am totally thrilled with the results on this dress. It's goes perfectly with my peach shoe boots and I've worn it twice in a week!


All fabrics featured in this post were sourced at Fabric Corner Lincoln, based in Lincoln's historic Central Market and at 22-24 Melville Street Lincoln.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Heather: Simple Sew 'Kate' Jersey Dress

We've all been there. It's Midday on Saturday and your mind wanders to 'what to wear to the party tonight?' Well this is one such project. Having rooted through the wardrobe I discovered I had nothing* to wear!

A quick root through my stash produced 2 metres of printed floral jersey viscose, and a brand new pattern from the March edition of Love Sewing; the "Kate' jersey dress. (I didn't have time to wash and dry the fabric before using, which is a big risk with jersey, but I didn't really have a choice!)

The pattern itself is quite simple- a single back panel (no darts), a front skirt, waist panel, and bodice panel, basic sleeve, tie panels and two facings. I opted for the size 8, as the finished pattern measurements were quite generous. 

Attaching the bust and waist panels was probably the most tricky part of the project. The deep v neck meets with the upwards v at the waist and extra attention is needed to ensure both points line up!
Here is the partially assembled garment: 

After trying on, I decided to take an inch out of both side seams, and shorten the sleeves to above the elbow for a more casual look. (This was looking too much like a work dress for my liking!) I also turned up a very generous 1.5 inch hem for more of a 'party' length. 

Here is the finished dress! I think I'll be making one of these in every colour.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Heather: Reversible Floral Skirt

At a recent visit to the Sewing and Craft shows at the NEC I spotted this beautiful viscose mix floral fabric from Montreux Fabrics.
I've never seen the stall there before, but it was piled high with gorgeous rolls, and even better, they had boxes and boxes of remnants and roll ends to root through. Now, I'm a sucker for a remnant. The challenge presented of having just too little fabric and having to cut creatively, or add panels, really makes me think about what I'm making. This piece was just 80x150cm so just enough for a very simple shift dress or a nice skirt. 

I pulled the fabric out of my stash the other day and, whilst laying it out on the table, realised that the fabric was fully reversible! I hadn't even noticed in the excitement of buying. 

I really wanted to make the most of both sides of the beautiful fabric, so I decided to attempt a fully reversible skirt. I googled for a simple pattern and found this really easy tutorial with a free printable pattern. Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric to make the skirt as two layers so I was going to need to be creative!

The pattern calls for the skirt to be cut on the straight grain, but there was not enough fabric for this so I removed the centre back seam and cut both front and back pieces on the bias.

It wanted to ensure the skirt was fully reversible so I stitched the panels together with French seams and then top-stitched them flat to ensure the skirt could be worn both ways. 
I cut the front wrap panels into a curve at the edges, and turned up the hem 1cm all the way round, turning the hem under again to create a 0.5cm hem. On the "blue" side of the garment I pinned some black rikrak over the turned hem and top stitched through all the layers close to the edge to finish the hem. 

I used black satin bias binding for the waist and attached two pretty buttons from my stash to finish off. The result is a lovely flippy hem skirt that I can wear right through to summer!